Monday, June 30, 2014
Global Development Group refuses to provide Chanti and Chhork with MOUs as requested
Directors of the Global Development Group Board
734 Underwood Road
Rochedale, QLD 4123
30th June 2014
Dear David James Pearson
Geoffrey Winston Armstrong
Ofelia (fe) Luscombe
I am writing on Chanti’s and Chhork’s behalf from Cambodia in my capacity as their legally appointed advocate.
It is now five weeks since Chanti and Chhork sent their request to you that they be provided with copies of the 2008 and 2009 MOUs that both Citipointe and GDG claim gave the church to the right to remove and Rosa and Chita from their family in 2008 and detain them for close to 5 years contrary to the express wishes of their parents.
Can you provide me with a time frame within which Chanti and Chhork might receive a response to their 23rd May request?
I have included the text of Chanti’s and Chhork’s request below.
On a different but related topic, I wonder if the Global Development Group would care to comment on the fact that one of its funding partners (the Cambodian Children’s Fund) has as the head of its Child Protection Unit a convicted Australian criminal (and former Australian Federal police officer) by the name of James Mc Cabe? The appointment of such a man to head up a Child Protection Unit would, as you know, not be allowed in Australia.
Did GDG fail to pick up the appointment of James Mc Cabe during its assessment and monitoring processes? Or, if GDG has been aware all along of Mc Cabe’s criminal record, do you board members believe his appointment to be in accordance with the terms and conditions outlined in the ACFID Code of Conduct?
CHANTI AND CHHORK’S REQUEST OF THE GLOBAL DEVELOPMENT GROUP – dated 23rd May 2014
We are the Cambodian mother and father of Chanti Rosa and Chanty Cheata. Our daughters have lived in Citipointe church’s ‘SHE Rescue Home’ since 2008 against our wishes.
The Global Development Group (GDG), of which you are Executive Director, provides funding to Citipointe church’s ‘SHE Rescue Home.’ This funding has been approved, through the Australian Council for International Development, by AusAID.
The GDG is bound by the Australian Council for International Development Code of Conduct and is obliged, in accordance with the Code, to be ‘transparent’. The meaning of the word ‘transparent’ is clear in the Code of Conduct.
‘An organisation’s openness about its activities, providing information on what it is doing, where and how this takes place and how it is performing’.
Neither Citipointe church nor GDG has provided us with any of the information we have requested since Citipointe church removed our daughters from their home in 2008. Instead, the church keeps promising to return our daughters but never does.
We have read the ACFID Code of Conduct and understand that we, as parents of Rosa and Cheata, are known as ‘stakeholders.’ We read the following in the Code of Conduct:
B.1.1 Accountability to primary stakeholders
Signatory organisations will ensure that their purpose and processes are shaped by stakeholders and that their work is open to review and comment by partners and participants alike. In all instances those directly affected by aid and development activities are considered the primary stakeholders and their views afforded the highest priority.
Signatory organisations will prioritise accountability to local people and those directly affected by aid and development activities, prioritising their needs and rights
As stakeholders our views about Citipointe church’s refusal to return our daughters have been ignored. As stakeholders our needs and rights have been ignored. We are told that our rights are outlined in two Memoranda of Understanding Citipointe church entered into with the Cambodia government – the first in 2008 and the second in 2009. Citipoint church and your own GDG have refused to provide us with copies of the two MOUs so we do not know what our rights are or what we must do to have our daughters returned to us.
As a ‘signatory organisation’ (to the ACFID Code) the GDG is obliged to “analyse the needs and expectations of key stakeholders in all aid and development activities, pursuing informed and balanced accountability to each.” Our own needs and expectations have been ignored for nearly 6 years.
We request that the Global Development Group provide us with (a) Annual self-assessment by GDG for the years 2008 - 2014 “by the signatory organisation’s governing body”, and
(b) a reason why our complaints to Citipointe since 2008 have been ignored. It is the responsibility of the GDG to see to it that there is “an independent complaints handling and discipline process.”
Finally, the Code of Conduct is clear about the Global Development Group’s obligations:
“Obligations on the signatory organisation to be ethical and transparent in marketing, fundraising and reporting.”
Citipointe’s ‘SHE Rescue Home’ has behaved in an unethical way by presenting our daughters to sponsors and donors as victims of human trafficking. The ‘contract’ Citipointe tricked me, as mother, into signing on 31st July 2008 makes it clear that it was only the fact that the family was very poor at the time that caused me to ask the church for help for a short time. Rosa and Chita were not victims of human trafficking. I have never been a victim of human trafficking myself, even though Citipointe says that I was.
Could you please provide us both, as parents, with answers to our questions and with copies of any documents the Global Development Group has in its possession that relate to our daughters removal and detention by your funding partner, Citipointe’s ‘SHE Rescue Home’ – as you are required to do as signatories of the ACFID Code of Conduct?
Yem Chanti Both Chhork